by Simon Faust
He allowed the darkening edges to flicker across the
ashen features that so stretched across his skull. Muscles
tensed and shuddered within their facial confines. Blood
stood supine within the delicate and skimpy features.
What else was expected from one of the dead?
The trim and near serpentine shift of each yellow tinged
orb settled into his sockets, was anything but humane.
The slight stubble of auburn hair decorating his gaunt
head, seeming little but furrows of complex design. A
Labyrinth of grooves and bushy niches at best. The grim
features swiftly led to the conspicuously haggard frame. A
mesh of dingy black and ruby blood rags danced a
spurring melee across his body. Spindly limbs of bare
thickness and a vapid expanse of flesh skimming each
pour and crevice made up the basic consistence of his
metabolism and structure. Feet were adorned with little
but the dirt and grime of the surrounding beggar's halls.
The thin thermal body suit laid beneath the flippant rags
keeping his cold frame heated in the mimicry of life.
Death chills the body.
Blood fuels the Wise.
Insanity begets Sagacity.
The motto's of life.
The dry and somewhat hoarse chuckle that escaped the
parched and nosferatic lips, seemed little but a whisper
amidst the blackest of night. Shadows danced their
marionette like skirmish across the cobbled street
beneath. He noticed not, for his thoughts seemed fixated
on the aspects of life and death. Of the strange strangle
hold he kept on this imitation of living. His hand came to
press over the ill-beating heart within a bony rib cage.
Long slim digits splayed over and among the flitting rags
of red and black.
His smile intensified and grew, the dried husky lips
cracking and splitting before the stimuli of long dead
What was life without death?
An age-old question of balance. So little the humans
knew, but that was to be expected with such a short time
to live. Life without death was more existence. Eternity.
The gift of blood soaked up from the living.
Scavengers of the daywalker, and seemingly unfit for life
itself. Yet still he clung. Life in death had no meaning. Yet
still he clung.
Scavenging off the living was a vultures work, yet here he
was to sit and wait for a mortal to venture his or her way
across his path just so that he might live on. Or was it
The smile broadened evermore with the reclusive
thoughts. Each new branch of evidence or fact heading
into the triplet of paths and onward, until there lay before
his mindscape an infinite number of paths and walk ways
that stretched towards the horizon of the ether and
beyond. What was life without death? A good question
He sat upon his haunches, huddled within the alleys and
back streets of a city unnamed. Not for lack of interest
no, or for lack of time perish the thought, but for the
simplistic senility, that so tumbled amidst his thoughts, that
it seemed like ages since he had remembered the very
words meaning. Long lost thoughts and questions lay
huddled and hidden within the back of his mind, each
questioning is own definition, and soon folding over the
older theories and delving into the new. Little was left
behind for thought, as it simply ceased to exist after the
next one's entreaty.
The life of a Vampire was never closed minded.
He watched as the ever-present lifestyles of the short
lived and "Low born" as the kinship of fellows so called
them, milled and lingered before him. The yellowish orbs
flickering to and fro, following the gentle swish of a
passing blonde and the flirtatious swagger of a female's
His hands drifted towards the dirt ridden and garbage
heaped floors beneath, pushing off with a simple and
subtle effort, spindly fingers trailing behind him quietly.
The long sinuous movements and the gentle persuasion of
the unseeing, were sent ghosting across his frame. Slight
of hand and soft of step offering to the floor beneath,
even as the dark figure ghosted across the alleyway. Slim
and supple gait was given as he drifted into the pale and
sterile glow of the lamp light above. A squint of quiet
eyes, and a shift of his right shoulder, sent the ebony
mallet, strangely ornate and ostentatious in design and
being, the croquet hammer gently clapping over his hip as
each step proceeding the last. The slim bag of leather that
seemed to stitch itself into his very flesh jangled and
swayed with the movements and notions. Long patient
strides across the floors beneath, offered little to the
vision of the average mortal, each by passing him as
another face in the crowd. This literal storybook freak
ignored by the populace through a simple manipulation of
the mind. A quiet thought implanted into every person's
mindscape. An aversion.
He ghosted across the granite and pavement, the vulture's
eyes traversing the very currents of polluted air, stagnant
and retched to those that surrounded him. To those that
breathed. Yet still he walked on, passing through the fine
mist of a sewer grating, emitting its length of streaming
wisps. The bare clad feet, gently padding over torn and
pebbled pavement, as the roads cleared of traffic
momentarily, the blear and blur of head lights gone from
the peripheral, but briefly.
Each step took him closer to the other side of the street,
his gaze never falling from its perch across the building.
His hands swaying tenderly almost at his sides, the
incessant honk of a by passing vehicle. Stranger yet, the
swish and passing currents of air by the autos that didn't
Gently he hit the curb of pavement across the street, a
ball of heel striking rough granite, and going unnoticed as
its predecessor took its tumble from the moment of life.
Long strident movements of patient fascination
announced his arrival upon the thirty-second street. Long
moments of disillusioned silence echoing off the inner
sanctum of his mind.
He scaled the wall.
Not so much a gargoyle, sinking its claws within the
Not so much a ghost, floating his way towards the upper
regions of the ledge.
But a simple step across a fire escape, and a gliding ease
of silken movement.
Still life continued below. Unnoticed. Unbroken.
The windowpane was smudged and covered by the
stagnant grime of the city. The rustic metal bars lining its
frame already beginning to degrade beneath the wearying
lengths of time. The fogged glass chilled beneath his
breath and the autumns own. The gentleness that crept
through the swirling hazy yellows of each visionary orb,
was none too subtle, for the picture within held something
that would chill even the most stillborn of hearts.
She lay quietly within her comforter, a solemn child of no
more then eight years. Long strands of dark raven hair
left in a puddle across her tenderly plush pillow. Features
remained quiet and desolate drained of blood and
emotion both, yet still clinging to some semblance of life.
The deep shade of depthless violet that stained her eyes
with each new awakening of her dozing self. Long lashes
dappled at her cheeks, as the lids opened and closed
gently. Her hands lay above the thick comforter, settled
straight beside her sheathed frame. Long moments of
silence that echoed throughout the room, even as the dim
illumination of the dingy apartments outside hall shone into
her room, the door left ajar by a slight margin.
The gentle ghost of breath went unnoticed behind the
marred and slim windowpane, his eyes continuing to
watch the quiet figure, unmoving in his zeal and patience.
Each new written length of seconds past left little across
his features by way of boredom, the fascination never
dwindling. Never ceasing.
He stayed quiet across the heavy bar of the fire escape,
hunched within the Obfuscated shadows. The yellowed
gaze flickering towards the doorway, as a slim figure
gently plied it open. The mother stood quietly a moment
beside her daughter's bed, hands clasped before her and
planted along the white apron. Pinkish hued dress
smudged through the endless toil of day to day work.
He smiled quietly as the mother's hand stroked back a
stray lock of raven hair, tucking it beside the gaunt
features, a momentary caress of supple tender flesh laid
gently along the pale cheek. It went unnoticed. Still the
girl slept on, quietly drowned within the depthless spiral
towards death's doorway. A disease so vile and twisted,
yet intricately fascinating in its myriadical melee of
incurable infection. The cancer had eaten away at her
immune system, and was slowly working its way into her
heart, dimming its beat less and less every day. The quiet
flood of sleep grew longer every night, and slowly she
seemed to drift off into the eternal depths.
His smile faded as the tears came unbidden to the
mother's eyes, gently flowing down into the comforter's
The tears remained unnoticed.
He sighed a gentle exhalation, as the mother fled from the
bedside, hands pressed to her sides gently, a ghost of
mouthed words seen through the window pane.
"I love you my Baby girl."
Then darkness as the door shut out the light.
For every hour of her awakening, which stood few and
far from the morning doses of medicine, he watched.
Yellow eyes followed every twitch and hacking
exhalation, weak for lack of will and strength both. His
head tilted off to the side gently with the passing of every
other hour, the perturbed thoughts gleaning at the rain
swept skies, as if to search for the answers to questions
Nothing new in that aspect of thinking.
He would watch from his raven's perch atop the rustic
fire escape, as the quiet solitude of the little girls being
stretched longer and farther into the abyss. The gaunt
features slowly becoming sunken and deprived of
nutrition and protein. Cheeks lay taut across brittle bone.
Deep violet eyes unsettling within their sockets, dilated
and trembling with every waking breath. Obsidian locks
that seemed to brush the alabaster cheek, and encircled
her tiny face with its cumulative depths.
The slim spindly fingertips shuddered across the fogged
window pane, gently streaking their Oil-free trail over the
chilled surface. The yellowed vision pleaded with the
inner depths of the room, wishing but a moment or two
more of the twilight that had invaded from the outer hall,
yet denied as the darkness pervaded along the walls and
carpeting silencing the room once more.
Time stretched on quick and quiet, the distances slowly
churning from minutes to hours.
He sat along his usual rustic grate perch of metallic bars
and welded bolts, hunched with his legs crossed before
him. The crisp winter breath had set the crimson and
ebony rags so adorning his wiry frame to snapping. The
yellowish orbs centred on a single circle of fog cleared
glass, peering through the windows frame and into the
The scene within unfolded like something from a mime's
opera. The dark shadows of a worried parent, and the
frosted patches beneath her eyes were all to evident.
Long fidgeting digits trailed across the thick hem of the
apron, even as the tears flowed across ashen cheeks,
watching from her position by the doorway, feint of heart
causing a leaning across the heavy wooden doorframe.
The man hunched forth quietly, cheap instruments of
medical value gently flickering left and right, disappearing
into a black briefcase just as swiftly as they appeared.
The pristine and supine shape of the miniature child so
huddled within her blankets. The raven locks had been
pushed to either side, in order to feel for a fair throat
pulse. Blankets shorn free of their moorings to allow an
examination of limb and torso. The brown tailored suit
and greyish moustache twitching betwixt the worried
frown of a failed physician and the constant scrutiny of
The brown suit slipped from beside the bed and out the
door, a brief shake of his head and a grave consolation of
a comforting pat on the mother's shoulder all that was
given. No words spoken as the weeping continued a
torrent of tears flowing past the paler features. The figure
collapsed inwards, curling in on her pitifully, weeping near
the edges of miseries doorstep.
He watched this all, took this quiet and remorseful scene
in stride, his face depicting the briefest most transient of
frowns towards the grieving mother. His fingers gently
splayed across the metallic grating, careless of the biting
cold that seeped into the long dead digits. Gaining a
closer observance point, he watched as the mother's
crying continued, the child's gentle cough going unnoticed
in the weeping barrage.
The hour dawned into the later reserves, minutes ticking
past and gone uncaring of the small tragedy that seeped
within. He watched quietly within his huddled perch,
within the cold and chilling air, life below continuing on as
if the world were perfect. People strummed along the
streets chatting with lovers or friends of another. Axis
swirled anew with each passing minute, stretching longer
and deeper into the delving thoughts and patient eye blink
of times passage.
He observed quietly as the mother slipped towards the
bedside gently stroking the child's hair into place once
more, kissing the brow oh so tenderly, before excusing
herself from the Cancer ridden body's presence.
He watched as darkness engulfed the room once more,
shadows dancing their forever ballet across the walls and
ceiling. Her once more sheathed frame quietly darkened
among the light-lacking portrait. She slept within the
A tomb of Sorrow.
Cracked ice was sent shattering and drifting towards the
cobbled pavement below, even as the long since used
panels of sliding wood and metal were sent upwards.
Long spindly fingers pulled the window shut once more,
even as he drifted into the darkness of the Lamentation
scene. The yellowish orbs were sent spiralling around the
room a flicker of fingertips sending a stream of sterile and
ambient light across the edges of the carpeting, a measly
lamp to the side offering what little it could.
The flowing vision settled supine across the porcelain
figure. Gently he plied at the edges of the comforter, the
ebony mallet suddenly plodding down across the soft
folds of cotton, the yellowish eyes flickering across the
deep set and sunken features of so tiny a child.
He smiled faintly as he heard the weeping from without,
the mother's lament continuing quietly to her, even as the
yellow-eyed Jester of the night stroked a pale cheek free
of the raven tinged halo.
The touch elicited a flicker of violet and a kindly whisper.
"Are you god?"
The very question couldn't be helped but cause a deep
chuckle to flicker past thin lips, spittle seeping deep into
the comforters thick folds, yet still the sound was hushed.
God indeed. Anything from the truth.
He was here. Taking such a small life within his hands,
quietly watching as it ebbed away into the abyss from
whence it came. Life was his to give.
Or was it Death?
He chuckled again a little louder now that his thoughts
might come back to this same point. Yellow eyes
flickered upwards to peer back into the depths of those
weakened violet eyes. Long lashes caressed alabaster
flesh, and his smile failed to return again.
"No child I am not God. The messenger of someone, But
certainly not the so-called supreme from up top. I'm here
to ask something."
Her body struggled to raise itself upon propping pillows
and elbows, hacking cough erupting gentle and quiet as
the body took its toll from the fettered movement. He
leant forward to help her settle against the headboard of
the pristine sheeted bed. Long slim digits sharply akin to
her own, causing a momentary frown to flicker across her
features, even as the violet gaze levelled with his own.
"Are you sick too?"
He smiled at such innocence, and allowed the token facial
gesture to show, his head shaking gently before shrugging
and nodding within the next moment. It brought a flicker
of confusion then acceptance from the child.
"Might I ask you a question child?"
The words came several dozen-heart beats past, the
moments of silence gazing at each other filled with little
"What is it you want?"
The silence this time was longer, filled with a pregnant
pause so complete he thought for a moment that she had
expired right there and then, and his hand stretched forth
towards her neck. Only when she flinched away from the
movement did he realise she was thinking.
"I wish I could make my mommy happy."
The words were truth simple and direct. Lacking none of
the innocence from old, and it brought a solemn
inquisition to his ashen face. His head tilted off and across
the left bony shoulder, watching her quietly from his perch
on the comforter.
"What would please your mother most child?"
The little girl blinked quietly from her place within the
cotton folds. Violet eyes regarded him with a rational
observance. Her hands folded before her, slim bone
visible fingers intertwining gentle for fear of the brittle
nature cracking. Her eyes left his ashen face and
swivelled through the dark to peer at her doorway,
remaining fixated quietly on the wooden portal and the
distant sound of hushed weeping.
Her gaze returned matured beyond years of innocence
"I want to get better so she can stop being sad."
He smiled within the darkness watching her quietly, the
flickering illumination of the lamplight only serving to
shadow his face further. Long tendrils of shadows danced
a myriad melee along his slim torso and arms, even as he
leant forward gently, eyes flickering with her own, his nod
slight and quiet, even as she closed her violets gently and
laid back into the comforter's and pillows beneath and
She lay quietly, curled up on the ratty couch of olden
days, her eyes screwed tightly shut as the dim flicker of
tears streaked across her pale cheeks. Her arms lay
cradled about her stomach, trying to keep the wave of
nauseous from bubbling tot he surface, even as the
weeping continued uncontrolled. Long hours of silence
passed with nothing but her lamentation filling the currents
of dead air.
A soft creak.
Her eyes shot open, a disdainful hope cracking the visage
of sorrow even as she whirled within her seat, peering
down and across the carpeting stained and ragged, and
up into the quiet and solemn violet of her daughters eyes.
The child stood quietly on the pink carpet, her delicate
hands folded before her, slim and loose pyjama's hanging
gently about her form even as she peered at her mother
quietly. Torso and spindly limbs held her weight of little
more then forty pounds upright, though this seemed
The mother gasped involuntarily, even as she slipped
from off the couch quietly her hand coming to her mouth
gently, tears flowing anew in disbelieving joy.
The word broke the moment of silence and reverie, and
the mother ran to embrace her small daughter gently,
crying into the tiny shoulder, even as she in turn was
hugged quietly by a tender being, alabaster cheeks
upturned in a flickering smile of happiness.
All the while he stood within his raven's perch watching
the family once more join quietly in their time of reunion.
His hands planted before him even as he settled back
onto his haunches of crimson and ebony rags. Long
spindly fingers stroked the metallic grating beneath even
as the yellowed orbs gleamed with an inner tranquillity.
The fogged window kept his figure at bay from being
spied, yet still he could peer through the simple circle of
cleared glass, and watch as the embrace of mother and
daughter came to fruition.
He smiled quietly.
What was life without death?